Times are changing yet again. Families are becoming smaller, populations are ageing, fertility is declining and mothers are tending to be older. There are also changes in the structure of work, including outsourcing, casual employment, self-employment and zero-hour contracts. This policy brief argues that childcare is essential to enabling women to participate in the workforce. It underwrites women’s essential contribution to the economy and promotes gender equality. In an increasingly busy world, it provides families with a greater range of choices. Quality childcare also has positive benefits for the well-being of young children.